“Epiphany” comes from the Greek root epiphainein, meaning “to come suddenly into view.” Poems rely on the epiphanic when poets find themselves overwhelmed by grief, confusion or awe; when a poem does arrive at an epiphanic moment, all the images and statements around this revelation become newly significant. In this seven-week online workshop, we’ll explore various ways of approaching epiphany through formal devices such as the sonnet, anaphora, autobiography, contrapuntals, monostich and erasure, and make use of guided meditation, somatic rituals, and multimodal exercises to see what, of our own thoughts and materials, we can draw upon. We’ll read poems by Tarfia Faizullah, Safia Elhillo, francine j. harris, Aria Aber, Tory Dent, Mai Der Vang, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Juliana Spahr, Brian Teare, and many more that gear toward the epiphanic through argument, arrangement and insight. The professor will provide a video introduction to the course and each week will post a video craft talk introducing that week’s approach to epiphany and writing prompt, as well as written guidelines and model poems to read. Students will write and submit a poem each week via Wet Ink, write critiques on 3–4 poems by their peers, and receive critiques from 3–4 peers as well as the professor. Students will have the opportunity to conference with the professor via Skype for thirty minutes to discuss the relationship between their original work and exercises in the course that prove particularly challenging and/or illuminating. Students can expect to leave the course with seven new, critiqued poems; a stronger understanding of self-reflection; and a keen ability to identify and construct poetic insights.
Natalie Eilbert is the author of Indictus (Noemi Press, 2018), winner of the 2016 Noemi Press Book Award in Poetry, Swan Feast (Bloof Books, 2015) and the chapbooks Conversation with the Stone Wife (Bloof Books, 2014) and And I Shall Again Be Virtuous (Big Lucks, 2014). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, jubilat and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016–17 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is the founding editor of the Atlas Review.